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Consumers spending less on energy

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Better fuel efficiencies and a change in fuels used for home heating means most people are spending less on energy than before, the U.S. Energy Department said.

“Because electricity and transportation spending accounts for more than two-thirds of consumer energy expenditures, increasing vehicle fuel efficiencies and changing fuels used for home heating have contributed to lower consumer energy expenditures relative to disposable income,” the department’s Energy Information Administration said Tuesday. said the average new vehicle sold in January got 24.9 miles per gallon of gasoline, an increase of nearly 5 mpg from October 2007. The number of consumers using natural gas has increased more than 3 percent from 2007.

EIA said consumer energy expenditures as a percent of disposable income was lower last year than the average in the 1960s despite the rate of inflation.

The report found, however, that energy prices have been more volatile than overall prices for consumer goods.

7 Comments on "Consumers spending less on energy"

  1. Plantagenet on Wed, 22nd Oct 2014 11:39 pm 

    The recent collapse in oil prices should bring down consumer spending on energy even more. Oil fell another 2 bucks just on Wednesday —WTI is down to $80.50 per barrel.

  2. Kenz300 on Thu, 23rd Oct 2014 10:17 am 

    Saving energy saves money……….

    Today there are 40 mpg vehicles replacing those that got 15 mpg……….

    Insulating your home brings savings every month in lower heating and cooling bills……..

    Walking, biking or taking mass transit more reduces monthly transportation expenses. More young people are delaying or foregoing the purchase of a car.

    LED light bulbs saves 70% of the energy used by an incandescent light bulb. LED prices keep dropping and are now found in most home improvement stores.


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  3. penury on Thu, 23rd Oct 2014 10:48 am 

    May be true for Nation as a whole. However, among the people that I am most familiar with a reduction is energy use has been accomplished due to the inability to afford to use energy. Air conditioners were not used this summer, car trips were eliminated, thermostats are set lower in the cool. The lowest 20 per cent are collapsing. A lot of people cannot afford to save energy, the cost of the new tech is just too high for them.

  4. GregT on Thu, 23rd Oct 2014 11:03 am 

    Slap a 300% tax on all petroleum products across the board. Use the revenues and the surplus fuels to build out alternate energy infrastructure now, or suffer the consequences. Wasting a one time precious resource on an unsustainable economic model, is a fools game with a very bad outcome.

  5. tahoe1780 on Thu, 23rd Oct 2014 1:45 pm 

    GT, I like your idea but don’t see it happening, as it would require some real explaining from our cheerleader-in-chief. Attended a local “Peak Oil” class recently and discussed the optimistic presentation with the instructor during a break. He said he kept it that way so as not to panic the audience. We went back and forth a bit on how a bit of realism could benefit their decision-making, but to no avail.

  6. Makati1 on Fri, 24th Oct 2014 3:53 am 

    The current infrastructure is ALL we will ever have folks. Not going to be the trillions needed to make any significant changes in the West. We are going down the ladder, not up.

    In the last 6 1/2 years, I have cut my resource consumption and energy use in half, or less. Over the next few years, it will be halved again, at least. Eventually, it will be down to a hundred KWhs/month or less.

    I now burn less than 300 gallons of fuel per year in commercial vehicles I use, including my plane trip to the States. That is less than half of the fuel I used when I had a car in PA. When I stop going to the States (soon) my fuel use will drop to the single digits and be public transport only.

  7. Davy on Fri, 24th Oct 2014 7:52 am 

    Ah Mak, too bad you are not 20 years younger so you could enjoy your new life. Getting old is a bitch and not for sissies. A sissy pretends he is not getting old. One of the first things the descent will rid us of is old people. I am old enough to be in that group. I have no illusions of a failed medical system not being there for me in a few years. Facing descent and being in my 50’s is scary but 70’s, now that is scary.

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